United States Air Force Decorations

Medals and Ribbons by Precedence

Medal of Honor

http://www.vspa.com

 

The Medal of Honorwas established by Congress on July 6, 1960, as the highest of several awards created specifically for the Air Force. It is given in the name of Congress to officers and enlisted members who distinguished themselves by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual combat with an armed enemy of the United States. It is only presented by the President and is awarded in the name of Congress of the United States.

Award: For Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity at the Risk of Life, Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, in Action Involving Actual Conflict with an Opposing Armed Force.

Medal's Design: by Lewis J. King, Jr., of the Army's Institute of Heraldry. It is a gold finished five pointed star, one point down, tipped with trefoils and each point containing a crown of laurel and oak on a green enamel background. Centered on the star is an annular of thirty-four stars which surround the profile of the head from the Statue of Liberty. The star is surrounded by a green enameled laurel wreath, edged in gold. The medal is suspended from a design, taken from the Air Force coat of arms. In the center is a baton with eagle claws at both ends resting on a pair of aviator's wings emitting thunderbolts from the center. This is attached to a horizontal bar bearing the word "Valor." The reverse of this decoration is blank and suitable for engraving.

Congressional Medal of Honor (Air Force) Neck Ribbon
Neck Ribbon: The Neck Ribbon passes through the bar, and has an octagonal pad of the traditional light blue moiré ribbon with thirteen white stars.

http://www.vspa.comRibbon: Traditional light blue moiré ribbon with five white stars.

History: The first presentation of this Medal of Honor was made at the White House in Washington on Jan. 19, 1967, when the President placed it around the neck of Maj. Bernard F. Fisher, United States Air Force.

The Air Force Medal of Honor has been awarded 12 times for actions during the war in Vietnam. Three of these decorations, to Capt. Steven L. Bennett, Capt. Lance P. Sijan and Capt. Hillard A. Wilbanks were posthumously awarded. Two of the medals were awarded for extraordinary heroism while the recipient's were prisoners of war, one to Captain Sijan and the other to Col. George E. Day who was the most highly decorated officer in the Air Force.

      Others who received the medal for their actions in the war in Vietnam are: Maj. Merlyn Hans Dethlefsen, Capt. James P. Fleming, Lt. Col. Joe M. Jackson, Sgt John L. Levitow -- the only Air Force enlisted member to receive the medal, Lt. Col. Leo K. Thorsness, Capt. Gerald O. Young, and Col. William A. Jones III, who received the medal posthumously.
      In addition, four other airmen received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Korean War. Majs. George A. Davis Jr., Charles J. Loring Jr., and Louis J. Sebille, and Capt. John S. Walmsley Jr., were all awarded the medal posthumously. During World War II, 35 members of the Army Air Corps were presented the nation's top honor for their actions during air missions.

Pension: Persons on the Medal of Honor Roll and otherwise eligible may, upon application, qualify for a special lifetime pension of $200 per month.

The medal is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor as it is awarded by the Department of Defense "in the name of Congress," although the official and correct title is Medal of Honor.


 
http://www.vspa.comAir Force Cross was established by Congress, Public Law 88-593, on July 6, 1960, amended Section 8742 of Title 10, U.S. Code to change the designation of "Distinguished Service Cross" to "Air Force Cross" in case of awards made under Air Force Authority. This cross, therefore, is the Air Force version of the Distinguished Service Cross.

Award: Awarded for extraordinary heroism, not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor, to any person, who while serving with the U.S. Air Force while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States in not a belligerent party.

Medal's Design: by Eleanor Cox, an employee of the Air Force and was sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones of the Institute of Heraldry. It is a bronze cross with an oxidized satin finish. Centered on the obverse of the cross is a gold-plated American bald eagle, wings displayed against a cloud formation, (as used on the seal of the Air Force). This design is encircled by a laurel wreath in green enamel, edged in gold. The reverse of the cross is blank and suitable for engraving.

History: The first award of the Air Force Cross was a posthumous presentation to Maj. Rudolf Anderson Jr., For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy from 15 October 1962 to 27 October 1962. The action took place during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cross was presented by President Kennedy to the widow of the major at the White House.

Air Force CrossThe Ribbon has a very wide center stripe of Brittany blue with narrow stripes of white and red at the edges. Almost identical to the Distinguished Service Cross, except for the lighter blue center stripe, indicating the close connection of these awards.



Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Defense Distinguished Service Medal was established by Executive Order 11545 on July 9, 1970. A rather unique feature of this decoration is that it is awarded by the Secretary of Defense and has no delegated authority. No one else can even initiate a recommendation, it is awarded solely at the initiative and pleasure of the Secretary of Defense.

Award: Awarded to high ranking military officers (Generals or Admirals), who perform exceptionally meritorious service in a degree of great responsibility with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Special or outstanding command in a Defense Agency or for any other Joint Activities designated by the Secretary of Defense. It is rarely awarded.

Design: by Mildred Orloff and sculpted by Lewis J. King, Jr., both of the Institute of Heraldry. The medal is gold in color and on the obverse it features a medium blue enameled pentagon (point up). Superimposed on this in an American bald eagle with wings outspread facing left grasping three crossed arrows in its talons and on its breast is a shield of the United States. The pentagon and eagle are enclosed within a gold pieced circle consisting, in the upper half of thirteen five-pointed stars and in the lower half, a wreath of laurel on the left and olive on the right. At the top is a suspender of five graduated gold rays. The reverse of the medal has the inscription "For Distinguished Service" at the top in raised letters, and within the pentagon the inscription "From The Secretary of Defense To," all in raised letters. This decoration takes precedence over the Distinguished Service Medals of the separate services and is not to be awarded to any individual for a period of service for which an Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal is awarded.

Defense Distinguished Service MedalRibbon: The Ribbon has a center stripe of dark red flanked on either side by wide stripes of gold and medium blue.

History: The first Defense Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, U.S. Army, upon his retirement as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Staff.


Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal was established by Congress on July 6, 1960.

Award: Awarded to members of the United States Air Force who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility, in combat or otherwise.

Designed by Frank Alston of the Institute of Heraldry. The sunburst design is one of the most striking examples of the medalist's art and is a radical departure from the designs used in the Distinguished Service Medals of the other services. The obverse design has a sunburst of thirteen gold rays separated by thirteen white enameled stars, with a semiprecious blue stone in the center. The blue stone in the center represents the vault of the heavens; the thirteen stars represent the original colonies and man's chain of achievements. The sunburst represents the glory that accompanies great achievements, and the rays depict man's quest for light and knowledge. The reverse of the medal is plain and suitable for engraving. The star is suspended from the ribbon by a wide slotted bar which consists of stylized wings symbolic of the Air Force.


http://www.vspa.comRibbon: The Ribbon has a wide center stripe of white flanked on either side by a thin stripe of old gold, a wide stripe of ultramarine blue and a narrow stripe of old gold at the edges.


Silver Star

Silver Star was established by Congress on 9 JUL 18.

Award: Awarded for each Citation received by US Air Force personnel for gallantry in action not sufficient to warrant the Medal of Honor or the Distinguished Service Cross. The Silver Star is currently awarded by all branches of the armed forces to any person who, while serving in any capacity, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly forces against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Designed by the firm of Bailey, Banks and Biddle. On August 8, 1932, the Silver Star was re-designed as a medal by an Act of Congress. This medal, is a gilt-toned star of five points. On the obverse side in the center, is a small silver star (the same size as the original citation star), centered within a wreath of laurel. Eighteen rays radiate from the star to the wreath. The reverse of the star has the inscription, "For Gallantry in Action" in raised letters, below which is a blank area suitable for engraving the recipient's name.

http://www.vspa.comRibbon: The Ribbon, one of the most striking of all American awards has a wide center stripe of red flanked on either side by a wide stripe of dark blue, a wide stripe of white, a thin stripe of white and a narrow stripe of dark blue at the edges.

History: The Silver Star Medal had its beginning during World War I. An Act of Congress of July 9, 1918, authorized the wearing by Army personnel of a small silver star, 3/16 of an inch in diameter, upon the service ribbon of a campaign medal, to indicate "a citation for gallantry in action, published in orders issued from headquarters of a general officer, not warranting the award of a Medal of Honor or Distinguished Service Cross." Known in the Army as the "citation star," the award was made retroactive, so that all those cited for gallantry in action in previous campaigns, even as far back as the Spanish-American War, were eligible to wear it.
      It is estimated that more than 20,000 members of the Army received such citations before 1918. A similar device was authorized for Navy and Marine Corps personnel in 1920 which authorized a " special letter of commendation" to be awarded on the recommendation of the Board of Naval Award. Receipt of this special letter of commendation authorized its recipient to wear a small silver star on The Ribbon of the Victory Medal.
      Army announced that anyone who had previously earned a Citation Star could apply for the Silver Star Medal. Navy and Marine Corps personnel could only apply, if they were awarded a citations star by the Army. The status of the Silver Star was further clarified, when on August 7, 1942, Congress authorized the award of the Silver Star to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy since December 6, 1941, distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action, but not of a nature to justify the award of the Navy Cross. Four months later, on December 15, 1942, the decoration was extended to Army personnel for gallantry in action, but not of a degree to justify an award of the Distinguished Service Cross.


Defense Superior Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal was established by Executive Order 11904 on February 6, 1976, when President Gerald R. Ford signed the order formally establishing this award.

Award: Awarded by the Secretary of Defense to military officers who perform exceptionally with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, special or outstanding command in a defense agency or any other joint activity designated by the Secretary. The service rendered will be similar to that required for award of the Legion of Merit.

Design: by Mildred Orloff and sculpted by Lewis J. King, Jr., both of the Institute of Heraldry. In the center is a silver-rimmed, light blue enameled pentagon. Surrounding this, at the top, are thirteen five-pointed stars, and at the base is a wreath of laurel and olive leaves, superimposed on the pentagon and wreath, is an American eagle facing left with wings outstretched, holding three arrows in its talons. The reverse is inscribed at the top "For Superior Service" and on the pentagon, "From The Secretary of Defense To."

Defense Superior Service MedalThe Ribbon, has a narrow center stripe of red, flanked on either side by equal stripes of white, light blue and gold.



Legion of MeritThe Legion Of Merit was established by Congress on 20 JUL 42, in four degrees: Chief Commander, Commander, Officer, and Legionnaire; for award to personnel of Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations and personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States and the Philippines. Awarded for actions since the Presidential

Proclamation of Emergency, 8 SEP 39.

Award: For Exceptionally Meritorious Conduct in the Performance of Outstanding Service. Created specifically for award to citizens of other nations, conferred on officers and enlisted men of the armed forces of the United States and on nationals of other counties "who shall have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services" since September 8, 1939, the date of the President's proclamation of the state of emergency that led to World War II. The Legion of Merit may be awarded for combat or noncombat services; in the case of American military personnel, if the award is for combat service it is shown by the wearing of a combat "V."

Designed by COL Townsend Heard, USA.


History: The Legion of Merit established by Act of Congress of 20 JUL 42, amended by an executive order of March 15, 1955.
      The Legion of Merit was originally ranked directly below the Distinguished Service Medal in the Navy's pyramid of honor." This was changed by Navy directive number 49 of January 28, 1946, which placed the Legion of Merit immediately below the Silver Star, thus making it the Navy's fifth ranking decoration.
      The Legion of Merit is also the first award to have different degrees. If a holder of the Legion of Merit in one degree is subsequently given another such award, it is never in a degree lower than the original one. The degrees of Chief Commander and Commander are conferred on members of foreign governments only and are awarded for services comparable to those for which the Distinguished Service Medal is given to members of the United States armed forces.
      This is as close as the United States has come to creating an Order of the European type. It is the first specific decoration awarded to foreigners and the first decoration of the United States to be awarded in different degrees as follows:

  • Chief Commander; usually awarded to Heads of Foreign States
  • Commander; usually awarded to Supreme Commanders of Foreign Military
  • Officer; usually awarded to Officers of Foreign Military
  • Legionnaire; usually awarded to Officers of the United States Military.


Distinguished Flying CrossDistinguished Flying Cross was established by an Act of Congress of July 2, 1926 (amended by Executive Order 7786 on January 8, 1938), for award to any person who, serving any branch of the service including the National Guard and the Organized Reserves after 6 APR 17: For Heroism or Extraordinary Achievement while Participating in Aerial Flight.

Award: This medal is awarded to any officer or enlisted man of the armed forces of the United States who shall have distinguished himself by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The decoration may also be given for an act performed prior to November 11, 1918, when the individual has been recommended for, but has not received the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, or Distinguished Service Medal.
      Subsequent awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross are indicated by oak-leaf clusters for Army and Air Force personnel and by additional award stars for members of the Naval services.
      During wartime, members of the armed forces of friendly foreign nations serving with the United States are eligible for the D.F.C. It is also given to those who display heroism while working as instructors or students at flying schools.

Design: by Elizabeth Will and Arthur E. DuBois. It is a bronze cross pattee, with rays between the arms of the cross. On the obverse is a propeller of four blades, with one blade in each arm of the cross and in the re-entrant angles of the cross are rays which form a square. The cross is suspended by a rectangular-shaped bar and centered on this is a plain shield. The reverse is blank and suitable for engraving the recipients name and rank.
      When this decoration was originally created there was a movement to have this awarded in different classes, and though this idea was never approved, some copies of the higher class were made, they are the same design as the approved Distinguished Flying Cross, slightly larger, and with a pin attached to the reverse, so that it would be worn as a breast decoration. This class was never approved and was never officially awarded.

Distinguished Flying CrossThe Ribbon has a narrow red center stripe, flanked on either side by a thin white stripe, a wide stripe of dark blue, a narrow white stripe and narrow dark blue at the edge of The Ribbon. Bronze V device worn to denote Valor/Heroism.

History: The Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded first to Captain Charles A. Lindbergh, of the U.S. Army Corps Reserve, for his solo flight of 3600 miles across the Atlantic in 1927, a feat which electrified the world and made "Lindy" one of America's most popular heroes. The first D.F.C. to be awarded to a Navy man was to Commander Richard E. Byrd, of the U.S. Navy Air Corps, on May 9, 1926, for his exciting flight to and from the North Pole. Both these famous aviators also received the Medal of Honor with the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Aviatrix Amelia Earhart also received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Hers was the only such award, as an executive order on March 1, 1927, ruled that D.F.C. should not be conferred on civilians.
      An example of the gallantry for which the Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded took place on the morning of August 31, 1969 in Vietnam. Captain Francis J. Cuddy, USMC a Helicopter pilot, was assigned the mission of assisting in the extraction of an Army Special Forces reconnaissance team heavily engaged in combat with a large North Vietnamese Army deep in an mountainous area under the enemy's complete control. Captain Cuddy, undaunted by the heavy volume of hostile fire directed at his aircraft, directed other helicopters into the area, moved his aircraft into treetop level and delivered repeated rocket and strafing runs on the enemy positions. As a result of his devastating attacks, the hostile fire was suppressed and sufficiently to enable the transport helicopters to safely extract the reconnaissance team. The citation for his award went on the say "... Captain Cuddy's courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of personal danger were instrumental in accomplishing this hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service." Captain Cuddy was also awarded the Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, Commendation Medal with Combat "V," the Purple Heart and forty eight Air Medals During his tour of duty in Vietnam.


Airman's Medal

Airman's Medal was established by Congress on 6 JUL 60, for Heroism by those serving with the United States Air Force in any capacity that Involves the Voluntary Risk of Life under conditions Other Than Those of Conflict with an Opposing Armed Force.

Award: This decoration, one of several Air Force awards established by Congress, and takes the place of the Soldier's Medal for Air Force personnel. It is awarded to any member of the armed forces of the United States or of a friendly nation who, while serving in any capacity with the United States Air Force after the date of the award's authorization, shall have distinguished himself or herself by a heroic act, usually at the voluntary risk of his or her life but not involving actual combat.
      The same degree of Heroism is required as for the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Design: by and sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones of the Institute of Heraldry. On the obverse of the circular medal is the figure of the Greek god Hermes, son of Zeus, resting on one knee. He has just released from his open hands a falcon, shown rising into flight. Within the raised rim of the medal, is the inscription "Airman's Medal" in raised letters. The reverse of the medal, has a raised outer edge and bears the inscription, "For Valor" above a space for the recipient's name which is within a stylized laurel wreath open at the top and tied at the bottom.
      The Airman's Medal is unique in that its shape does not follow the octagonal shape of its counterparts, the Soldier's Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Coast Guard Medal. It had been established practice heretofore to design military decorations with a distinctive shape, so that they would not be confused at a distance with service or campaign medals, which are always circular in shape. The reason for this is because the design was originally approved for use as The Air Force Distinguished Service Medal.

Airman's Medal Ribbon: The Ribbon is based on that of the Soldier's Medal but using different colors. In the center are alternating thin stripes of gold and dark blue (seven gold and six dark blue), bordered at the edges with wide stripes of pale (sky) blue.


http://www.vspa.com
S
oldier's Medal awarded for heroism not involving actual conflict with an armed enemy of the United States.

Award: To Army and Air Force.



Soldier's Medal Ribbon







Bronze StarBronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order No. 0410 on 4 FEB 44, awarded to personnel of the US Armed Forces, who on or after 7 DEC 41, distinguished themselves For Heroic or Meritorious Achievement of Service, not involving aerial flight, in connection with Operations Against an Opposing Armed Force.

Award: The award recognizes acts of heroism performed in ground combat if they are of lesser degree than that required for the Silver Star. It also recognizes single acts of merit and meritorious service if the achievement or service is of a lesser degree than that deemed worthy of the Legion of Merit; but such service must have been accomplished with distinction.

Design: Designed by the firm of Bailey, Banks and Biddle, is in the shape of a five-pointed star 1 1/2 inches from point to point. In its center is a smaller raised star. The small star is set on a raised ten-pointed figure, from which rays extend to the points of the outer star, giving the whole a sculptured effect. The reverse of the medal also has a raised center, with rays extending to the five points of the star. Inscribed on this are the words "Heroic or Meritorious Achievement,' encircling a blank space for the recipient's name.

http://www.vspa.comThe Ribbon is predominately red, with a narrow blue center stripe flanked on either side by a narrow white stripe, and a narrow white stripe at the outer edge. A bronze "V" on The Ribbon denotes combat service.

Purple Heart

The Purple Heart Medal today, is the modern form of the original Purple Heart established by General George Washington in 1782, and is conferred on any person wounded in action while serving with the armed forces of the United States. It is also awarded posthumously to the next of kin of personnel killed or having died of wounds received in action after April 5, 1917.

Award: The Purple Heart is awarded for combat action only, to any member of the Armed Forces killed or wounded in an armed conflict. Second and subsequent awards of the Purple Heart are denoted by a gold star for Navy and Marine Corps personnel and by an oak-leaf cluster for Army and Air Force personnel.

Designed by Elizabeth Will and modeled by John R. Sinnock. The heart-shaped medal, one of the best known and also one of the most beautiful of our decorations. The inner heart on the obverse is of purple plastic (originally enamel), and the sculptured outer heart of gold-colored metal. On the purple heart General Washington is shown in profile, facing left, in a relief also of gold-colored metal. Above this heart is Washington's coat of arms, and enamel shield of white with two horizontal bands of red, and above them three red stars with sprays of green leaves on either side of the shield.
      The reverse of the medal is entirely of gold-colored metal, including the shield and leaves. Within the sculptured outer heart and below the shield is the inscription, set in three lines, "For Military Merit," with a space below for the recipient's name.

Purple Heart

The Ribbon is deep purple with narrow white edges.

History: Originally established by GEN George Washington on 7 AUG 1782, at Newburgh on the Hudson, New York, as an award for outstanding military merit, or the 'Badge of Merit'. The decoration was in the form of an embroidered, heart-shaped badge of purple cloth and only three non-commissioned officers received the Order at that time. Though never officially abolished it was not again awarded for almost one hundred and fifty years.
      Upon its revival in 1932, as the Purple Heart, the decoration was to be awarded to members of the US Army in two categories:

    • For being wounded in action in any war or campaign under conditions which entitle the wearing of a wound chevron.
    • "For those persons who perform any singularly meritorious act of extraordinary fidelity or essential service."

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an Executive Order which provided that the Purple Heart would be made available to members of all the US Armed Services who were wounded in action. Since then the Purple Heart has become one of the most highly respected decorations of the US Armed Forces. The decoration holds a very unique position in that it can be earned in only one way, by being wounded. An attendant requirement is that the wound must have been received as a direct result of enemy actions.


Defense Meritorious Service Medal Defense Meritorious Service Medal was established by Executive Order 12019 on November 3, 1977, when President Carter signed the order establishing it. Awarded for noncombat meritorious achievement or service that is incontestably exceptional and of magnitude that clearly places the individual above his peers while serving in one of the assignments for which the medal has been designated.

Award: The Defense Meritorious Service Medal is awarded Exceptionally Meritorious Service in a Duty of Great Responsibility while Assigned to a Joint Activity. Awarded to military personnel serving with or assigned to a number of joint activities including The Secretary of Defense, Organizations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Headquarters of Joint Commands. Other joint activities and specified commands such as Military Assistance Advisory Groups and Joint Missions; and jointly manned staffs within Allied Command Europe, Allied Command Atlantic, the NATO Military Committee, and military agencies associated with functions of the military or other joint activities as may be designated by the Secretary are also included.

The medal was Designed by Mildred Orloff and sculpted by Lewis J. King, Jr., both of the Institute of Heraldry. It is a one and one-half inches in diameter overall, consisting of a circular wreath of laurel tied with a ribbon at the base; in the center is a pentagon shape, superimposed over the pentagon is an American eagle with wings upraised and overlapping the wreath, standing on the bottom edge of the pentagon. On the reverse the medal has the inscription, "Defense Meritorious Service" in three horizontal lines; and around the bottom are the words, "United States of America," with space between for engraving the recipient's name.

Defense Meritorious Service MedalThe Ribbon has three light blue and two white narrow stripes in the center flanked by a wide stripe of white and wide stripe of purple red edged by a narrow stripe of white.


Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal was established by Executive Order 11448 on Jan. 16, 1969. The Meritorious Service Medal may be awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who distinguishes themselves by either outstanding achievement or meritorious service to the United States.

Award: Outstanding Non-combat Meritorious Achievement or Service to the United States. Established as the counterpart of the Bronze Star Medal for the recognition of meritorious noncombat service.

Designed by Jay Morris and sculptured by Lewis J. King, Jr., both of the Army's Institute of Heraldry. It is a one and one-half inch medallion in bronze, on the obverse as eagle wings upraised, standing upon two upward curving branches of laurel tied with a ribbon between the talons of the eagle, above and behind the eagle the upper part of a five-pointed star (with two smaller stars outlined within) on a incised plaque with six points starting at the top of each wing of the eagle. The reverse is plain with a circular inscription in raised letters, "United States of America" and Meritorious Service" separated by dots.


Meritorious Service Medal The Ribbon is purplish red with a one and quarter inch white stripe one-eighth inch from the edge.



Air Medal Air Medal was established on May 11, 1942, by Executive Order 9158 and amended by Executive Order 9242-A, on Sept. 11, 1942, is given to any person who, while serving with the armed forces of the United States in any capacity subsequent to Sept. 8, 1939, shall have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

Award: The Award is given for combat or non-combat action, and conferred in recognition of single acts of heroism or merit for operational activities against an armed enemy, or for meritorious services, or for sustained distinction in performance of duties involving regular and frequent participation in aerial flight. This decoration is the same for all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States. Bronze V device worn to denote Valor/Heroism. Subsequent awards denoted by bronze Arabic numerals.

Designed by Walker K. Hancock, after an open competition. The medal is a bronze compass rose of sixteen points that is surrounded by a fleur-de-lis design in the top point. On the obverse, in the center, is an American Eagle, swooping downward (attacking) and clutching a lightning bolt in each talon. The reverse has a raised disk on the compass rose, left blank for the recipient's name and rank.

Air MedalThe Ribbon has a broad stripe of ultramarine blue in the center flanked on either side by a wide stripe of golden orange, and with a narrow stripe of ultramarine blue at the edge. The original colors of the Army Air Corps.


Aerial Achievement Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal was instituted in 1988.

Award: Awarded for sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Considered on a par with the Air Medal but more likely to be awarded during peace time.


http://www.vspa.comRibbon





 




Joint Service Commendation MedalJoint Service Commendation Medal was established by order of the Secretary of Defense on 17 MAY 67, as an award to any member of the US Armed Forces who is distinguished by Meritorious Achievement or Service while Assigned to a Joint Activity.

Award: The degree of merit need not be unique but must be distinctive. Bronze V device worn to denote Valor/Heroism in Combat.

Designed by the Institute of Heraldry, US Air Force.

Joint Service Commendation MedalThe Ribbon has a center stripe of ultramarine blue, flanked on either side by a wide stripe of white, with a stripe of ultramarine blue at the center, and a narrow stripe of blue at the edge.




Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
was established by the Secretary of the Air Force on March 28, 1958, for award to members of the armed forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after March 24, 1958, shall have distinguished themselves by For Heroism, Meritorious Achievement, or Meritorious Service service. The degree of merit must be distinctive, though it need not be unique. Acts of courage which do not involve the voluntary risk of life required for the Soldier's Medal (or the Airman's Medal now authorized for the Air Force) may be considered for the Commendation award.  

Award: The medal is a bronze hexagon, with one point up, centered upon which is the seal of the Air Force, an eagle with wings spread, facing left, perched upon a baton. There are clouds in the background. Below the seal is a shield bearing a pair of flyer's wings and a vertical baton with an eagle's claw at either end; behind the shield are eight lightning bolts. Bronze V device worn to denote Valor/Heroism in Combat.
      An example of the citation that usually accompanies the award of the Air Force Commendation follows: "Captain Evans A. Kerrigan distinguished himself by meritorious service as Instructor Navigator and Standardization/Evaluation Instructor, KC-135, 509th Air Refueling Squadron, 509th Bombardment Wing, SAC, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, February 19, 1984 to May 16, 1988. During this period, Captain Kerrigan's superior performance and outstanding dedication led to significant improvements in the unit's combat readiness, contributing immeasurably to the performance of its worldwide missions. The distinctive accomplishments of Captain Kerrigan reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force."

http://www.vspa.com
The Ribbon has a broad stripe of ultramarine blue in the center flanked on either side by a stripe of golden orange, a thin stripe of blue, a broad stripe of golden orange, and a blue border at the edge.


Designed by the Institute of Heraldry, US Air Force.

History: Originally established by the Secretary of War as only a ribbon award in 1945, the medal was added in 1949. Awarded to members of the US Air Force, on or after 7 DEC 41.


Joint Service Achievement MedalJoint Service Achievement Medal was established by the Department of Defense on June 25, 1963, is awarded by the office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other Department of Defense agencies or joint activities reporting through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Any member of the Armed Forces who distinguishes himself by Meritorious Achievement or Service while Assigned to a Joint Activity after January 1, 1965, is eligible for this award. However, it will not be awarded for any period of service for which any of the Commendation Medals of the branches of the Armed Forces are given.

Award: The medal consists of four conjoined hexagons of green enamel. Centered on this is an eagle in gold with outspread wings, grasping three arrows in its talons (as depicted on the seal of the Department of Defense). Above the eagle are thirteen gold stars, and at the base is a gold stylized heraldic delineation representing land, sea, and air. This design is enclosed by a circular wreath of laurel bound with bands, also in gold. The reverse has a tablet in the center, suitable for engraving, and the words "FOR MILITARY MERIT." At the bottom is a sprig of laurel.

Design: by the Institute of Heraldry, US Air Force.

Joint Service Achievement RibbonThe Ribbon has a center stripe of laurel green, on either side of which are stripes of white, green, and white, and at the edges wide stripes of light blue.


Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal was established by the Secretary of the Air Force on Oct. 20, 1980. It is awarded to Air Force personnel for outstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of the Air Force.

Award: The medal may be awarded for acts of heroism which do not meet the requirements for award of the commendation medal.

Designed by Capt. Robert C. Bonn, Jr., USAF. The striking medal's distinctive outer border of this medal is composed of 11 "cloudlike" shapes, centered on the obverse a medallion portraying thunderbolts and wings, signifying striking power through aerospace, adapted from the Seal of the Air Force. On the reverse of the medal in raised letters is the circular inscription, "Air Force Meritorious Achievement."

Air Force Achievement MedalThe Ribbon has three sets of four vertical stripes of ultramarine blue on a silver gray background.



Presidential Unit Citation Presidential Unit Citation (Air Force and Army) was created by Executive Order 9075 on Feb. 26, 1942, and was superseded by Executive Order 9396 on Dec. 2, 1943, which authorized the Distinguished Unit Citation, and this executive order was superseded by Executive Order 10694, on Jan. 10, 1957 which redesignated the Distinguished Unit Citation as the Presidential Unit Citation.

Award: The Citation is conferred on units of the armed forces of the United States and of cobelligerent nations, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after Dec. 7, 1941. The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. The degree of heroism required is the same that which would warrant award of the Distinguished Service Cross to an individual.
      For subsequent awards of the Presidential Unit Citation, the individual is authorized to wear a bronze oak-leaf cluster on The Ribbon. The same oak-leaf cluster in silver is worn in lieu of five bronze oak-leaf clusters.
      An individual assigned or permanently attached to, and also present for duty with, a unit in the action for which the Presidential Unit Citation is awarded may wear the emblem as a permanent part of their uniform.

The Army and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation is a dark blue ribbon, 1 3/8 inches wide and 3/8 of an inch high, set in a decorative gold metal frame simulating a laurel wreath.

The Air Force Presidential Unit Citation is slightly smaller than that of the Army, being the regulation size, so that it can be worn in alignment with other Air Force ribbons.


Joint Meritorious Unit Award Joint Meritorious Unit Award is authorized by the Secretary of Defense on June 10, 1981, this award was originally called the Department of Defense Meritorious Unit Award.

Award: It is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to joint activities for meritorious achievement or service, superior to that which is normally expected, for actions in the following situations; combat with an armed enemy of the United States, a declared national emergency, or under extraordinary circumstances that involve national interests.

Joint Meritorious Unit Award ribbon is identical to the Department of Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon, indicative of the fact that the service performed would have been similar to warrant the award of this medal to an individual. It has a center stripe of red, flanked on either side by equal stripes of white, light blue and gold, with a narrow stripe of light blue at the edge.

The Ribbon is within a gold colored 1/16 inch wide metal frame with laurel leaves. Similar to other Army and Air Force unit awards, it is worn in the same manner. Additional awards are indicated by an oak-leaf cluster worn on The Ribbon.


Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Air Force Outstanding Unit Award was authorized by Department of the Air Force General Order 1, Jan. 6, 1954. It is awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to units which have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units.

Award: Award to units which have distinguished themselves by Exceptionally Meritorious Service or Outstanding Achievement that clearly above and apart from similar units, the services include; performance of exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishment of a specific outstanding achievement of national or international significance, combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or military operations involving conflict with or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.

The Ribbon has a narrow red stripe, flanked by a thin white stripe, a wide blue stripe, a thin white stripe, edged with a narrow red stripe. A Bronze V device is worn on The Ribbon to denote award for combat or direct combat support actions.


Air Force Organizational Excellence Award Air Force Organizational Excellence Award was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on Aug. 26, 1969. The Air Force Organizational Excellence award recognizes the achievements and accomplishments of U.S. Air Force organizations or activities that do not meet the eligibility requirements for the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

Award: Awarded to Air Force internal organizations that are entities within larger organizations. They are unique, unnumbered organizations or activities that perform functions normally performed by numbered wings, groups, squadrons, etcetera.

The award is a Ribbon with a narrow blue center stripe, flanked by a thin white stripe, a wide red stripe, a thin white stripe, edged with a narrow blue stripe. A Bronze V device is worn on The Ribbon to denote award for combat or direct combat support actions.

Prisoner Of War Medal

Prisoner Of War Medal was authorized by Congress and signed into law by President Reagan in 1986. The medal may be awarded to any person who was a prisoner of war after April 5, 1917 (the date of the United States entry into World War One).

Award: Awarded to any person who was taken prisoner or held captive while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force; or while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The person's conduct, while in captivity, must have been honorable. This medal may be awarded posthumously to the surviving next of kin of the recipient.

Designed by Jay C. Morris of the Institute of Heraldry. On the obverse of the medal is an American eagle, wing folded, and completely enclosed (imprisoned) by a ring a circle and following the outline of the medal. The reverse of the medal has the inscription, "Awarded To" (with a blank area for the recipient's name) "For Honorable Service While a Prisoner of War" in three centered lines. Below this is a shield of the United States, and below, following the curvature of the medal, are the words, "United States of America."

Prisoner Of War MedalThe Ribbon has a very wide center stripe of black, flanked on either side by a narrow white stripe, thin red stripe, thin white stripe and a thin stripe of dark blue at the edge of the medal.


Air Force Combat Readiness Medal Air Force Combat Readiness Medal was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on March 9, 1964, as amended Aug. 28, 1967. Originally created as a personal decoration ranking above the Commendation Medals, Lifesaving Medals and the Purple Heart, its current status has been changed to an achievement/service medal.

Award: Awarded to members of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve, and to members of other services after Aug. 1, 1960, for sustained individual combat or mission readiness or preparedness for direct weapon-system employment. Specifically, a service member must meet the following criteria: Complete an aggregate three years of sustained professional performance as a member of U.S. Air Force combat or mission-ready units subject to combat readiness reporting. Or be individually certified as combat or mission ready and have maintained individual readiness the entire period according to a major headquarters, or subject to an individual positional evaluation program according to a higher headquarters standard. The term "Combat Ready" is defined as being professionally and technically qualified in an aircraft crew position in an aircraft that can be used in combat.

This striking medal was designed by the Institute of Heraldry, on the obverse it has an inverted triangle on top of a delta-swept wing like object, both representing supersonic aircraft. This design is enclosed by a stylized compass rose with triangles at the points indicating the world-wide nature of the mission of the Air Force. The reverse of the medal has the inscription, "For Combat Readiness--Air Force" in a circle, near the outer edge of the medal.

Air Force Combat Readiness MedalThe Ribbon has a wide center stripe of red, flanked on either side by a narrow stripe of light blue, thin stripe of dark blue, narrow stripe of light blue with a stripe of red at the edge.




Air Force Good Conduct MedalAir Force Good Conduct Medal was authorized by Congress on July 6, 1960, with the creation of the other medals of the Air Force. The medal was not created until June 1, 1963 when the Secretary of the Air Force established it.

Award: Awarded to Air Force enlisted personnel for exemplary conduct during a three-year period of active military service, (or for a one-year period of service during a time of war). Persons awarded this medal must have had character and efficiency ratings of excellent or higher throughout the qualifying period, including time spent in attendance at service schools, and there must have been no convictions of court martial during this period. Air Force personnel who were previously awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal and after June 1, 1963 qualified for the Air Force Good Conduct Medal could wear both medals.

Designed by Joseph Kiselewski. On the obverse is an American eagle with wings displayed and inverted, standing on a closed book and a Roman sword. Encircling this are the words "Efficiency, Honor, Fidelity" at the medal's outer edge. The reverse has a five-pointed star above a blank scroll suitable for engraving the recipient's name and above the star are the words, "For Good" and below the scroll "Conduct." Is encircled by a wreath of laurel and oak leaves.

Air Force Good Conduct MedalThe Ribbon is predominantly light blue with a tin stripe of dark blue, thin stripe of white, thin stripe of red and a thin stripe of light blue at the edge.



Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Award Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Award was originally established as a ribbon bar by the Secretary of the Air Force on April 1, 1964 and was amended on May 1, 1973 when the medal was created.

Award: Awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity during a four-year period while serving in an enlisted status in the U.S. Air Reserve Forces (Air Force Reserve).

This circular bronze medal was designed by the Institute of Heraldry. In the center of the obverse is an American eagle, wings outstretched perched on a wide circle containing a five-pointed star with a disk in the center (like the symbols on early U.S. Aircraft). Above the eagle and between its wing tips is a banner with the words, "Meritorious Service." Around the edge to the left are the words, "Air Reserve" and to the right, the word "Forces" with delta wing shapes on either side of the word. Behind this design are thirteen rays or lines from the center. The reverse of the medal has a cloud design in the center and within this at the top are the wings and thunderbolts of the Air Force Coat of Arms. Below this is the word, "To," and encircling the outer edge of the medal is the inscription, "Exemplary Behavior--Efficiency--Fidelity."

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Award The Ribbon has a very wide light blue center stripe flanked on either side by a narrow blue stripe, a thin gold stripe, a narrow blue stripe, a wide white stripe and at the edges a thin stripe of blue.


Outstanding Airman Of The Year RibbonOutstanding Airman Of The Year Ribbon was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on Feb. 21, 1968.

Award: Awarded to enlisted members of the U.S. Air Force who are nominated by their respective major commands and separate operating agencies for competition in the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program. Award of this ribbon is retroactive to June 1960.

The Ribbon has a narrow white center stripe, flanked on either side by a narrow dark blue stripe, a narrow orange stripe, and very wide stripe of oriental blue. Subsequent awards will be denoted by an oak-leaf cluster worn on The Ribbon.


Air Force Recognition Ribbon Air Force Recognition Ribbon was authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force on Oct. 12, 1980.

Award: Awarded to named individual Air Force recipients of special trophies and awards except the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year nominees. Bronze oak-leaf clusters will be worn on the ribbon bar to indicate subsequent awards.

The Award Ribbon is predominatingly light blue, with a narrow center stripe of red, flanked on either side by a wide stripe of light blue, and thin stripes of white and red at the edge.


American Defense Service Medal

American Defense Service Medal was instituted in 1941.

Awarded for any active duty service.

American Defense Service MedalRibbon


Women's Army Corps Service Medal


Women's Army Corps Service Medal was instituted in 1943.

Award: Only U.S. award authorized for women only. Service with both the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and Women's Army Corps during 1941-1946.


Women's Army Corps Service MedalRibbon


American Campaign Medal

American Campaign Medal was instituted in 1942.

Award: for service outside the U.S. in the American theater for 30 days, or within the continental U.S. for one year.

  Ribbon


Europe African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

Europe-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal was instituted in 1942.

Awarded for service in the European-African-Middle Eastern theater for 30 days or receipt of any combat decoration year.

Europe African Middle Eastern Campaign MedalRibbon


Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was instituted in 1942.

Awarded: for service outside the U.S. in the Asiatic-Pacific theater for 30 days, or receipt of any combat decoration.

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign MedalRibbon


World War II Victory Medal

World War II Victory Medal was instituted in 1945.

Awarded: for service in the U.S. during the period of 1941-1946.

World War II Victory Medal Ribbon


Army Of Occupation Medal Army Of Occupation Medal was instituted in 1946.

Awarded for 30 consecutive days of service in occupied territories of former enemies during the periods of 1945-1955; 1945-1990.

Army Of Occupation MedalRibbon


Medal For Humane Action

Medal For Humane Action was instituted in 1949.

Awarded for 120 consecutive days of service participating in the Berlin Airlift or in support thereof.

Medal For Humane ActionRibbon


 

National Defense Service Medal

National Defense Service Medal was authorized by Executive Order 10448, April 22, 1953, and amended by Executive Order 11256, Jan. 11, 1966.

Award: Awarded for honorable active military service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States including the Coast Guard, between June 27, 1950 and July 27, 1954, (Korean War Period) and between Jan. 1, 1961 and Aug. 14, 1974 (Vietnam War Period). Members of the National Guard and Reserves were not usually eligible, however if any member of these units became eligible for the award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the Vietnam Service Medal, between Jan. 1, 1961 and Aug. 14, 1974, the person would be eligible for this medal also.

Designed by the Army of Heraldic Section. The obverse shows the American bald eagle, perched on a sword and palm. Above this, in a semicircle, is the inscription "National Defense." The reverse shows a shield, as it appears in the Great Seal of the United States; it is half encircled below with an oak leaf to left an laurel spray to the right, knotted in the center.

National Defense Service MedalThe Ribbon has a wide yellow stripe in the center, flanked by narrow stripes of red, white, blue, white, wide red stripes. Service members who earned the medal during the first qualifying period and who again became entitled to the medal wear a bronze star on The Ribbon to denote the second award of the medal.


Korean Service Medal

Korean Service Medal was authorized on Nov. 8, 1950, for members of the United States armed forces for service in Korea.

Awarded: to members of the United States armed forces for service in Korea, 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive days between June 27, 1950, and July 27, 1954.

Designed by the Army Heraldic Section. The obverse shows a Korean gateway, encircled by the inscription "Korean Service." On the reverse is a symbol representing the unity of all being, taken from the national flag of Korea. Encircling this is the inscription "United States of America," with a spray of oak at the left joined to a spray of laurel at the right.

Korean Service MedalThe Ribbonis light blue with a thin stripe in the center and narrow white edges--the colors of the United Nations.


Antarctica Service Medal

Antarctica Service Medal was established by an Act of Congress on July 7, 1960. The Ribbon was authorized in 1961, and the design of the medal received final approval in 1963.

Awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States, U.S. citizen, or resident alien of the United States, who after Jan. 1, 1946 to a date to be announced, served on the Antarctic continent or in support of U.S. operations there. The first recipients of this award were members of the U.S. Navy operation "High Jump" under the late Admiral R.E. Byrd in 1946 and 1947. Deserving civilians including scientists and polar experts can also be awarded this medal.

Designed by the United States Mint, is a green-gold disc. On the obverse is a heroic figure of a man in Antarctica clothing, with hood thrown back, arms extended, hands closed, and legs spread to symbolize stability, determination, courage and devotion. The figure stands on broken ground, with clouds in the background and mountains in the far distance. The reverse shows a polar projection map of the Antarctic Continent, across with the words "Courage Sacrifice Devotion" set in three centered lines, all within a symbolic circular border of penguins and marine life.

Antarctica Service MedalRibbon


Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was established on Dec. 4, 1961.

Award: to members of the United States armed forces who, after July 1, 1958, have participated in a United States military operation and encountered foreign armed opposition, or were in danger of hostile action by foreign armed forces.

This Design is encircled by the inscription "Armed Forces" at the top and "Expeditionary Service" below. Between these words, completing the circle, is a sprig of laurel on each side. The obverse has an eagle with wings raised, perched on a sword. In back of this is a compass rose, with rays coming from the angles of the compass points. The reverse has the shield as it appears on the President's seal. Below this are branches of laurel to right and left, joined in the center by a knot. At the top, in a semicircle, is the inscription "United States of America."

Armed Forces Expeditionary MedalThe Ribbon has three narrow stripes of blue, white, and red in the center, flanked by wide stripes of light blue and, on each side, four equal stripes of black, brown, yellow, and green. The center stripes symbolize the United States, and the many colors at the edges symbolize the United States, and the many colors at the edges symbolize other areas of the world.

History: The medal was awarded for service in South Vietnam, before the Vietnam Service Medal was issued. This medal was awarded for the following U.S. Military operations: Lebanon, July 1--Nov. 1, 1958; Taiwan Straits, Aug. 23, 1958--Jan. 1, 1959; Quemoy and Matsu Islands, Aug. 23, 1958--June 1, 1963; Berlin, Aug. 14, 1961--June 1, 1963; Cuba, Oct. 24, 1962--June 1, 1963; Congo, Nov. 23--27, 1964; Dominican Republic, April 28, 1965--Sept. 21, 1966; Korea, Oct. 1, 1966--June 30, 1974; Cambodia (Operation Eagle Pull), April 11-13, 1975; Vietnam (Operation Frequent Wind), April 29-30, 1975; Mayaguez Operation, May 15, 1975; Grenada Operation, Oct. 23--Nov. 21, 1983. It was also awarded for an operation on the Congo in direct support of the United Nations, July 14, 1960--Sept. 1, 1962.


 

 

Vietnam Service Medal

Vietnam Service Medal was established by Executive Order 11213, July 9, 1965.

Award: Awarded to all service members of the Armed Forces who between July 4, 1965 and March 28, 1973, served in the following areas of Southeast Asia: In Vietnam and the contiguous waters and airspace; in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia or the airspace there over or in the direct support of military operations in Vietnam.
      Personnel previously awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam between 1 July 1958 and 3 July 1965, may, upon request, exchange that medal for the Vietnam Service Medal; however, no one is authorized to wear both medals solely for services in Vietnam.
      In effect, the authorized period of military service to quality for the Vietnam Service Medal spans 1 July 1958 through 28 March 1973. During this period, a military member who participated in combat or who served with a unit directly supporting a military operation or participating in combat in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam qualified for the medal. A military member serving at least 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive days also earned the Vietnam Service Medal.

Designed by Thomas H. Jones, a sculptor and former employee of the Institute of Heraldry, U.S. Army. Centered on the obverse of the medal is the figure of a dragon, behind a grove of bamboo trees. Below this design is the inscription, "Republic of Vietnam Service." On the reverse of the medal is a cross-bow (the ancient weapon of Vietnam), surmounted by a lighted torch. Below this, along the outer edge are the words, "United States of America" in raised letters.
      The Vietnam Service Medal is worn with a suspension ribbon, and The Ribbon bar are yellow with three vertical red stripes in the center. The yellow, traditionally the imperial color of Vietnam, also symbolizes the Buddhist belief, and the red stripes represent the three ancient Vietnamese empires, Tonkin, Annam, and Cochin China. A vertical green strip on each edge represents the Vietnamese jungles.

History: There were 17 different campaign periods, but the first, which was called the Vietnam Advisory Campaign, covered the period from March 15, 1962 to March 7, 1964. During this time there were never more than a few thousand U.S. troops involved in Vietnam.

Vietnam Service MedalThe Ribbon has a thin stripe of red in the center, flanked on either side by a narrow stripe of yellow, thin stripe of red, wide stripe of yellow, and a narrow stripe of green at the edges, or predominately yellow with three red stripes at the center and green stripes at the edges. Campaign stars were worn on The Ribbon to indicate the number of campaigns the recipients served in during their service in Vietnam.



 

Southwest Asia Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal was instituted in 1992.

Awarded for active participation in, or support of, Operations Desert Shield and/or Desert Storm.


Southwest Asia Service MedalRibbon

 

Humanitatrian Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal was authorized by Executive Order 11965, Jan. 19, 1977.

Award: Established to honor personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States who distinguished themselves by meritorious direct participation in a significant military act or operation of a humanitarian nature, or have rendered a service to mankind.

Designed by Jim Hammond and sculptured by Jay Morris of the Institute of Heraldry. Centered on the obverse of the medal within a circle, is a right hand pointing diagonally upward with open palm (to symbolize a giving or helping hand). At the top of the reverse of the medal is the inscription, "For Humanitarian Service" in three lines. Below this is an oak branch, with three leaves and three acorns, and below this, around the outside edge of the medal, is the inscription, "United States Air Forces."

Humanitatrian Service MedalThe Ribbon has a wide center stripe of navy blue, flanked on either side by a broad stripe of medium blue, a thin stripe of white, and a narrow stripe of purple-maroon a the edges. Subsequent awards are indicated by a bronze service star worn on the medal ribbon and ribbon bar.

History: The number of eligible operations are too numerous to mention and have included a wide variety of services from the first operation of the Guyana Disaster Relief in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978 and have included disaster, flood, tornado, and earthquake relief work and snow removal work. Also included were Operation Boat People, Evacuation of Laos, Cuban Refugee Resettlement, Beirut Evacuation, Cholera Epidemic in Truk Islands and operations of humanitarian aid in the United States and every corner of the world.

 

 

Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal was instituted in 1993.

Awarded: for outstanding and sustained voluntary service to the civilian community.

Outstanding Volunteer Service MedalRibbon

 

Air Force Overseas Ribbon (Short Tour) Air Force Overseas Ribbon (Short Tour) Authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, October 12, 1980.

Award: Before January 6, 1986, The Ribbon was awarded to Air Force and Air Force Reserve members credited with completion of an overseas tour on or after September 1, 1980. Air Force and Air Force Reserve members serving as of January 6, 1986, or later are entitled to reflect all Air Force overseas tours credited during their career. A Service member may wear both ribbons, if appropriate.

Ribbon: The short tour ribbon takes precedence over the long-tour ribbon when both are worn. Subsequent awards are denoted by oak leaf clusters.

Air Force Overseas Ribbon (Long Tour) Air Force Overseas Ribbon (Long Tour)

Ribbon: The short tour ribbon takes precedence over the long-tour ribbon when both are worn. Subsequent awards are denoted by oak leaf clusters.


 

Air Force Longevity Service AwardAir Force Longevity Service Award The Department of the Air Force General Order 60, Nov. 25, 1957 authorized this ribbon.

Award: to all service members of the U.S. Air Force who complete four years of honorable active or reserve military service with any branch of the United States armed forces.

Ribbon: The Air Force Longevity Service Award is a ribbon that replaces the Federal Service Stripes previously worn on the uniform. The Ribbon is ultrrine blue divided by four equal stripes of turquoise. Bronze oak-leaf clusters are worn on the ribbon to indicate subsequent awards of the Air Force Longevity Service Award.

Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Armed Forces Reserve Medal Authorized by Executive Order 10163 on Sept. 25, 1950, as amended by Executive Order 10439 on March 19, 1952.

Award: Armed Forces Reserve Medal is awarded to any individual who completes 10 years' honorable satisfactory service in any of the reserve components of the United States armed forces, including the National Guard, provided such service is within a period of 12 consecutive years.

Designed by the Heraldic Branch of the Army's Quartermaster Corps. Its obverse, which depicts a flaming torch centered upon a crossed powder, which depicts a flaming torch centered upon a crossed powder horn and a bugle, within a design of 13 stars and 13 rays, is the same for all services.

The reverse of the medal bears the circular inscription "Armed Forces Reserve" about a center which has a different emblem for each of the services:

  • Air Force: The Air Force emblem--an eagle, wings spread, before a circle with clouds.
  • Army: A Minute Man facing left, with 13 stars in a circle behind the figure.
  • Navy: A large sailing ship, seen from the side, under full sail. In front of the ship is an anchor, flukes down, with an eagle, wings spread, superimposed on it.
  • Marine Corps: The Marine Corps emblem--the globe, an eagle, and an anchor.
  • Coast Guard: The Coast Guard emblem--crossed anchors with a circular plaque upon them bearing the shield of the Coast Guard.
  • National Guard: The National Guard emblem--an eagle with wings spread, crossed fasces in front of it.

Armed Forces Reserve MedalThe Ribbon, which is the same for all the services, has a narrow light blue center stripe, flanked with a wide buff stripe on either side, and alternating narrow stripes of blue and buff---three of blue and two of buff--at either edge.

History: Prior to July 1, 1949, "satisfactory service" was defined as honorable service in any of these units. Since that date, a member of such a unit must be credited with a minimum of fifty reserve retirement points per anniversary year in order to have that year apply as satisfactory service toward the award of the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

NCO Prof.military Ed.Grad.Ribbon NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon: Authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, October 12, 1980.

Award: Before January 6, 1986, The Ribbon was awarded to Air Force and Air Force Reserve members credited with completion of an overseas tour on or after September 1, 1980. Air Force and Air Force Reserve members serving as of January 6, 1986, or later are entitled to reflect all Air Force overseas tours credited during their career. A Service member may wear both ribbons, if appropriate.

Air Force Basic Military Training Honor Graduate RibbonAir Force Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon was authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force on April 3, 1976.

Award: Awarded to honor graduates of Basic Military Training who, after July 29, 1976, have demonstrated excellence in all phases of academic and military training and limited to the top 10 percent of the training flight.

Ribbon: The USAF Ban Me Thuot Honor Graduate Ribbon was designed by the Institute of Heraldry, and is awarded to basic training graduates only. The Ribbon has a wide center stripe of ultramarine blue flanked with equal stripes of yellow, Brittany blue and white on either side.

Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksman RibbonAir Force Small Arms Expert Marksman Ribbon was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on Aug. 28, 1962.

Awarded to all U.S. Air Force service members who, after Jan. 1, 1963, qualify as "expert" in small-arms marksmanship with either the M16 rifle or .38 caliber pistol. These rules will apply to the Air Force standard service small arms weapon selected. Qualifications as "expert" in both weapons after June 22, 1972, shall be denoted by a bronze service star worn on The Ribbon.

The Ribbon has a very wide center stripe of laurel green, flanked on either side by a thin yellow stripe, with a wide light blue stripe at the edges.

Air Force Training Ribbon Air Force Training Ribbon was authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force on Oct. 12, 1980.

Award: to U.S. Air Force service members on completion of initial accession training after Aug. 14, 1974.

The Ribbon was designed by the Institute of Heraldry. The ribbon has a wide center stripe of red, flanked on either side by a wide stripe of dark blue and a narrow yellow stripe edged by a narrow dark blue stripe.

Philippine Defense Medal


Philippine Defense Ribbon was instituted in 1945.

Award: for service in defense of the Philippines between 8 December 1941 and 15 June 1942.

Philippine Defense MedalRibbon

Philippine Liberation Medal

Philippine Liberation Ribbon was instituted in 1945.

Award: for service in Liberation of the Philippines between 17 October 1944 and 3 September 1945.

Philippine Liberation MedalRibbon

 

 

Philippine Independence Medal

Philippine Independence Medal was instituted in 1946.

Award: for receiving both the Philippine Defense and Liberation Medals.

Philippine Independence MedalRibbon
 

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation EmblemPhilippine Presidential Unit Citation Emblem was awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States for services culminating in the liberation of the Philippine Islands during the Second World War. The conditions were the same as would be required for award of the Presidential Unit Citation of the United States.

The Award: is made in the name of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. The Ribbon is slightly larger for the Army and worn on the right breast, for the other services The Ribbon is the standard size.

The Ribbon has three wide stripes of equal width. Starting from the left, a wide stripe of blue, a wide stripe of white and a wide stripe of red. The Ribbon is enclosed in a rectangular 1/16 inch gold frame with laurel leaves.

 

Republic Of Korea Presidential Unit CitationRepublic Of Korea Presidential Unit Citation was presented to units of the United Nations Command for service in Korea under the same conditions as would be required for the award of the Presidential Unit Citation of the United States, and it is awarded in the name of the President of the Republic of Korea.

Award: is a ribbon award with acCOing citation.

The Ribbon has a broad white stripe and in the center is a tae-guk (an ancient Korean symbol) half red and half blue. The broad white center stripe is flanked on either side by thin stripes of green, white, red, white, red, white and a wide stripe of green at the edge. The Ribbon is enclosed in a rectangular gold-colored frame with laurel leaf designs.

 

Republic Of Vietnam Gallantry Cross

Republic Of Vietnam Gallantry Cross was established on Aug. 15, 1950 by the Republic of Vietnam.

Award: Awarded for outstanding bravery by officers and enlisted men who distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry in action at the risk of life. It corresponds to the French Croix de Guerre (which design it resembles).

The bronze cross has flared decorative edges and two crossed swords, points up, between the arms of the cross and superimposed on a decorative wreath-like design -- which is really two "dragon-like" figures. On the obverse in the center is a raised disk with a sprig of laurel at the bottom and a map of Vietnam in the center, which contains the inscription in Vietnamese, "In Remembrance of Work Well Done." The badge is suspended from an ornamental bronze plaque which is attached to The Ribbon. The reverse of the cross is blank.

Republic Of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Ribbon: The ribbon is red with a wide center stripe of gold, which is divided by 16 very thin stripes of red.
 

Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Medal
Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Medal was instituted in 1964.

Award: Awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of civic actions

Vietnam Civil Actions Unit MedalRibbon
 

 

United Nations Service Medal (Korea)United Nations Service Medal (Korea) was authorized by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 12, 1950. The Department of Defense authorized it for the United States Armed Forces on Nov. 27, 1951.

Award: to officers and enlisted men of the armed forces of the United States who participated in the action in Korea between June 27, 1950, and July 27, 1954. This medal is awarded for any period of time spent in combat. 

The medal, in bronze alloy, was designed within the United Nations, along the lines of British medals. The obverse shows the emblem of the United Nations--a polar projection map of the world taken from the North Pole, encircled by olive branches. The reverse of the medal has the inscription "For Service in Defense of the Principles of the Charter of the United Nations" set in five centered lines. The outer edge is a raised rim. A bar which is permanently attached to the medal, and through which The ribbon passes, has the word "Korea centered thereon.

United Nations Service Medal (Korea)The Ribbon has seventeen equal alternate stripes of pale blue and white with blue at each edge.

 

United Nations MedalUnited Nations Medal was authorized by the Secretary General of the United Nations on July 30, 1959, and approved by Executive Order 11139, Jan. 7, 1964.

Award: Awarded to service members who have been in the service of the United Nations, for a period of not less than six months, with one of the following: United Nations Observation Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL); United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization in Palestine (UNTSO); United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) and United Nations Security Forces, Hollandia (UNSFH); United Nations Forces in the Congo, now Zaire (UNUC); United Nations Temporary Authority in New Guinea (UNTEA); United Nations Yemen Observer Mission (UNYOM); United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP); United Nations Emergency Force to observe the Israeli-Egyptian Cease-fire (UNEF 2); United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF); United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations General Service Headquarters in New York.
      The medal is the same for all awards, each area of service is identified by a different ribbon. Other organizations may be designated by the world situation requires, and this medal will probably continue to be awarded for future operations.

In the center of the obverse of this bronze medal is the emblem of the United Nations, a polar projection map of the world taken from the North Pole, with grid lines, encircled by a wreath of olive leaves. Centered above this are the letters, "UN." The reverse of the medal has the inscription, "In the Service of Peace."
      The medal most commonly awarded to United States personnel would be the United Nations Observation Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL) and the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization in Palestine (UNTSO), The Ribbon is identical for these services.

United Nations Medal The Ribbon is United Nations blue (light blue), with a narrow white stripe one quarter inch from each edge.

 

 

Multinational Force and Observers Medal

Multinational Force and Observers Medal was instituted in 1982.

Award: Awarded to all services members for six months service with the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force in the Sinai Desert.

 

 

Multinational Force and Observers MedalRibbon

 

Inter-American Defense Board Medal


Inter-American Defense Board Medal was instituted in 1982.

Award: Awarded to all services members for service with the Inter-American Defense Board Medal.

Inter-American Defense Board MedalRibbon
 

Republic Of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Award: was instituted in 1966.

Award: Awarded to all services members for six months service in the Republic of Vietnam between 1965 and 1973 or if wounded, captured or killed in action during that period of service.

Republic Of Vietnam Campaign MedalRibbon
 

Saudi Arabian Medal For The Liberation Of Kuwait
Saudi Arabian Medal For The Liberation Of Kuwait
was instituted in 1992.

Award: Awarded to all services members for participation in, or support of, Operations Desert Shield and/or Desert Storm during the period of 1991-1992.

Saudi Arabian Medal For The Liberation Of KuwaitRibbon
 
 

Medal's Links
The Vietnam Security Police Association thanks the United States Air Force Personnel Center
for providing public domain information for distribution and copying, which has made this display possible.

 

VSPA.com: We Take Care of Our Own
Click to Report BROKEN LINKS or Photos, or Comment